True talent

Our third game of the day came to a close with the other team, the Sky Diamonds, scoring the last goal, to close the gap to 6-4. My girls were pumped to win all three of their pool play games and make it to the finals. As both teams grouped up in the middle of the field, one of the girls on the other team ran up to her coach saying “One more point! I want one more point!”. Her coach, who captained the same college team as I did, replied, “Nope, sorry, the game is over”. She tried again with the same plea, wanting ever so much to keep playing. Same reply from Jeff. She aquiesed and 30 seconds later we were in the spirit circle.

These kids are all about spirit and playing hard. What a perfect combination.

Flickr Photo Album – 7/7/13
YouTube Video – 7/7/13

After morning coffee, Get UP! printing, and meeting the girls in the quad, we were all at breakfast for the normal round of cheers and table stomping. Shortly after, we were all in the auditorium for morning announcements. The boys then bussed up for Tamra and the six girls teams headed out to the fields for their first tournament games.

Coffee… aka, UP fuel

Out on the field, my girls ran through their standard warmup and then ended up winning 5-4 over a strong white team. They then followed it up with a convincing 5-2 win over Evergreen. In the third game of the day we went up against another undefeated team, Royal Blue (Sky Diamonds), and in a game filled with long throws and agressive defense, we pulled of a 6-4 win to end 3-0 on the day. As the only undefeated team we made it to the finals… against the team we played last. So, tomorrow morning, we play Sky Diamonds for the title.

Maroon 5 after going 3-0!

After 30 minutes of free time, we went off to lunch and then followed that up with 3 hours of afternoon activity time which was split between on-campus games and pool time. I ended up working on media and coaching materials, but the girls had a blast at the pool. By shortly before 5pm we were all back at the big tree, grouping up for evening practices. 4 of the girls teams and all of the boys teams ended up figuring out some smaller fields to play some last round consolation games on. My Maroon gals and I ended up in front of the dining hall for a really fun practice. We worked on tough marking drills and talked strategy for tomorrow. We also had a great time working through a catching drill which involved the girls catching tough throws, and then having them all throw discs as hard as they could at me… which was followed up by having some of the coaches and male players huck the disc at me from 15 yards… and I caught almost all of them! Hooray for still being able to do a useful thing on the Ultimate field…. catch! :)

A pre-practice moment

Practice ended a bit early to allow for kids to practice for the talent show! I headed back to the Mohodoun to gather up the gear I’d need for my act. I then went over to the auditorium to get it all set up, and quickly to snag dinner at the adjacent dining hall. Shortly after dinner, everyone was setting up for their acts and by 8 the show began. What a show it was! There was magic, singing, dancing, beat boxing, crane folding, and LOTS of other acts.

By 10:10 the show was done and all the kids were sent off to sleep. The staff grouped up around and in the Mohodoun and got to work on camper evals. They ended up cranking them out rather quickly and then everyone enjoyed some much needed and appreciated social time. We do have about a day together after camp ends tomorrow, but that’s not nearly enough time. We want more. So, we’ll be back next summer.

Tomorrow we have the tournament final games and then we say goodbye. Afterwards it’s beach time for the staff.

It’s so hard to imagine Camp UP 2013 is about to end.

The pinnacle of the three C’s

As David always says, working at Camp UP is a marathon sprint. Days like this one make that statement a reality. Days like this one make sprinting the marathon oh so worth it. We have also been building momentum all week, and things have really hit a high today. As Nancy just said, tonight we hit a pinnacle with the three C’s — Collaboration, Communication, and Compassion. Oh, and camp sure has talent :)

Flickr Photos Album – 6/28/13
YouTube Video – 6/28/13

As always, David had coffee ready for the early risers who gathered in the Mohadoun to help wake up kids. He’s actually improved his coffee-making skills and had about 12 cups ready before I managed to take the first cup away. Nice.

UP fuel prepped by David

After another spirited breakfast and auditorium announcements meeting, I transitioned with my Pink Ladies out into the Manof field. We secured our far left tent, cleated up, warmed up, ran a Go To drill and then started our game against the Maroon Mamas. We went back and forth for a few points before going up 5-3 on the strength of our newly built zone defense skills. Maroon worked patiently through the zone, but we started connecting on more passes, pulling down the last goal to win 6-3. On the other field Royal closed out their game against Charcoal.

Pink cup!

Instead of moving to semis, or finals, the head coaches decided to pair up teams and play a game. The new teams, “Lady Shaka” and “Pink Storm” faced off in a strong game filled with lots and lots of skill, spirit, and competition. Zone was throw, deep shots were completed, and marks were broken. Even though the teams had come together from different coaching paths, they ended up complimenting each other quite well. Pink’s fast break cuts worked well with Royal’s strong handler set. Maroon’s strong catching ability worked very well with Charcoal’s strong arms. The girls were also much more energetic on the field as they were now able to play 7’s with subs.

Time to bring that disc down!

After the games finished, the kids plowed through lunch, auditorium announcements, and then moved off to afternoon activities. Most kids stayed on campus, but a fair number went to the pool. By 4:30 all the teams were gathering up in the quad and by 4:40 teams Pink and Royal were grouped up in the middle third of the Manof field for their combined practice. After warmups and Go-To, the girls were run through zone practice where they all played D against the coaches, and then the coaches played D against them. The whole process worked well and the girls seemed to really absorb and quickly apply everything they were taught.

Two hand catching in action!

In the 30 minutes between practice and dinner, I prepped the rest of my talent show act and got to dinner a bit early to have some time setting up in the auditorium. Everything set up as planned and then I enjoyed my first Shabbat dinner since last summer. Dinner ended around 7:40 and the kids were moved out into the quad for some chill time while a few talent show acts finished prepping. At 8 the show began, and what a show it was!

Amir and his bride!

There was singing, dancing, acting, and… everything in between and outside of those categories. The evening was grand.

Afterwards the staff met up for their nightly meeting, followed by a couple hours spent writing player evaluation. The coaching staff was also treated to a late-night pizza dinner, which made us all quite happy.

Tomorrow we wrap up with the tournament finals, coaches showcase game, and closing ceremonies. It’s truly stunning how fast time has traveled this week, and how much has happened.

Summer Camp Day 4

Yesterday was another whirlwind of activity, starting bright an early in the dining hall with our 7:30am breakfast. Shortly after 8am the boys teams climbed onto two buses and drove to the Eilot field location and the girls gathered up in the Manof courtyard for a short announcement. 10 minutes later the girls walked over to the fields and began warming up for the tournament!

My girls played four consecutive games and did very well! The games were 35 minutes long and stopped immediately when the horn was blown. (Hard cap can result in really long last points.) Overall White Noise went 1-2-1, scoring in all of the games, something other one other team managed to do. The girls did very well at moving the disc quickly down the field and throwing crisp passes to open team members as soon as they became open. By the end of our games at 11:45 my girls were tired but quite happy.

Next we moved back to the Manof courtyard where we played some more social games before lunch. After lunch White Noise piled into one of the buses and went to the pool for a great hour of cooling off. I had a great time swimming around in the deep end with my team. See the disc fly around the crowded pool was pretty entertaining! After a round of popsicles, we bussed back up and got back to Manof where we had an hour and a half of free choice time. I ended up folding more cranes and talking with more players.

At 5pm campers started gathering back up in the center of Manof. About 30 minutes later the last round of the boys tournament was held on the main fields, and the girls teams had some great social time around campus. I helped some players and CITs with their throwing form, and took some time out to swing on one of the large swinging chairs with some of my team members. Things got a little sad around this time with the first departure of a coach — Julie. We didn’t want her to leave but we’re sure we’ll see her again! By a little before 7 the ourdoor BBQ began and everyone had a great time eating together in the central area of the Manof.

At a little after 8pm the most amazing talent show in UP began. The MCs — Jez, Zolo, and JMaz did a wonderful job gluing the whole evening together and the talent on stage was phenomenally entertaining and plentiful. Coaches, CITs, and players danced, sang, did fun tricks, and had a great time showing off some of the things they do best. It was quite the evening. Video of the whole evening will be online soon. In the meantime, you can check out a short clip of me folding an Ultimate Peace crane behind my back while telling a story about my life:

The talent show ran until around 10:20, at which point the campers were sent straight to their rooms to start the (longish) process of geting to sleep. The staff had a good round of fun social time in the Moadon common room, and by a relatively early hour I made it to sleep.

One more half day left until the campers leave. It’s staggering how fast the days have gone.